Kenya: Government in Deal to Establish Green Fertilizer Plant

Nairobi — The government has entered a partnership with Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) to establish a green fertilizer plant in the country in a bid to reduce reliance on imports.

Under the agreement, FFI and the Government will work together to build a 300 megawatts(MW)capacity generation green ammonia and green fertilizer facility by 2025.

This will be followed by the development of two further projects that will scale up renewable electricity generation for green industries by up to 25 gigawatts(GW), to produce up to 1.7 million tonnes of green hydrogen per year for export.

The initial green hydrogen and green ammonia facility to be located in the Naivasha vicinity of the Olkaria geothermal field will move to a pre-feasibility study, with a Final Investment Decision from FFI expected in 2023.

Speaking after signing the agreement on the sidelines of COP27, President William Ruto said this agreement will help in creating opportunities for local industries, local businesses, and communities.

“There is nowhere more important for us to mark the public beginning of this relationship than here in Sharm El-Sheikh, on the opening day of COP27 where we want to see action, not words,” said Ruto.

On his part, Executive Chairman of Fortescue Andrew Forrest said the agreement sets Kenya on a path to industrial decarbonization and committed to walking with Kenya on that journey.

“Current ammonia and fertilizer production relies almost exclusively on fossil fuels and results in considerable CO2 emissions. By stepping away from fossil fuels to use green ammonia, Kenya can eliminate its reliance on imports, reduce the cost of fertilizer and increase its food and economic security,” said Forrest.

Access to fertilizer has been a prominent threat to farmers in the country, with its prices spiking occasioned by global phenomena such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

In recent times, fertilizer prices hiked to a level that affected both small-scale and large-scale farmers thus threatening food and nutrition security in the country which had ripple effects on agricultural production in the country.

In September, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, and Co-operatives announced new subsidized fertilizer prices after the government availed a Sh3.5billion fertilizer subsidy.

The applicable subsidized fertilizer price for a 50Kg bag of fertilizer ranges from Sh1,775 to a maximum cost of Sh3,500.

A bag of 50Kg of Di-Ammonium Phosphate (DAP) now costs a farmer Sh3500, Calcium Ammonium Nitrate (CAN) Sh2,875 and a 50Kg bag of UREA goes for Sh3,500.

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